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Presentation - “The role and functions of the centre – Perspective from the OECD”, Mr. Andrew Davies.


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Presentation - “The role and functions of the centre – Perspective from the OECD”, Andrew Davies, Senior Counsellor, OECD, Public Governance Directorate. Regional conference on the functioning of centres of government in the Western Balkans, 22-23 June 2017, Danilovgrad, Montenegro.

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Presentation - “The role and functions of the centre – Perspective from the OECD”, Mr. Andrew Davies.

  2. 2. OECD’s Network of Senior Officials from Centres of Government • Composed of Heads of Government Offices, Prime Minister’s Offices or equivalent • One of the most senior OECD committees • Recent themes: – steering the SDGs – decision-making in crisis – driving public sector performance 2
  3. 3. Their concerns: • Centre under-resourced for expanding role • Analytical capacity neglected • Strategic function underused • A repository for “homeless” policy issues Other people’s concerns: • Centre opaque/secretive • Unclear functions and confusing organisation Understanding the role and functions of the Centre No existing international comparison or benchmark of the Centre
  4. 4. 1. Adaptability 4 • Acceptance that Centre needed to respond • Divergent paths to similar goal: some countries have strengthened the centre by adding resources and others have strengthened by outplacing non-essential activities • How can the Centre be stronger without making the State too centralised? Is there a trade off to be made?
  5. 5. 2. Leadership Coordination depends on ability to mobilise, persuade, incentivise at the highest level Does the Centre have the right tools and enough influence for the job? Is the challenge for the Centre that it is too political or not political enough? Political influence vs. Continuity
  6. 6. 3. Focus on key tasks 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. 4. Policy coordination
  9. 9. A typical Centre structure
  10. 10. 5. Continuity
  11. 11. 6. Financial resources Since 2009, how has the budget of the Centre changed?
  12. 12. In conclusion • Huge interest of strengthening the Centre in OECD and non OECD countries – highly visible in Latin America; • Recognition that an effective Centre is a prerequisite for effective policymaking today; • Previous emphasis on “difference” and “political context” giving way – shared challenges need similar responses; • No “model” of a perfect Centre -- many questions remain about effectiveness in practice, no barometer for success • Exchange of experience via the CoG network particularly valuable because the Centre is a relatively new area for governance analysis. 15
  13. 13. Thank you!